Emma Stone: “If you weren’t afraid, what would you want to do to me?
Edward Norton: “I’d pull your eyes out of your head.”
Emma Stone: “That’s sweet.”
Edward Norton: “I’d put them in my own skull, and look around so I could see the street the way I used to when I was your age.”
Are you a teacher? Great. You are not? No problem. Just simply a curious learner? Even better. Say what? You don’t even like the label “learner?” Not an issue. You are just curious? Then you are like me. Often I don’t think of myself as a “student,” in the usual sense of that word. I mean, I don’t go to college anymore, and frankly, I don’t really like to just listen to a teacher and take notes and come home.
Don’t get me wrong, I love taking courses, going to university, and I like the experience of being a student. But all that only when I am actually taking a class in a school or actually attending a university. When I am not going to school, my image of myself is not a note-taking student, but someone who is very keen on finding connections among things that I already know.
That single impulse—to find connections among stuff we already know—is one of the many underlying motivations behind Riffiti. By the way, I often use the word “elaborate” when I am describing Riffiti, and there’s a reason for that. I was reading Making it Stick–The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C. Brown, Henry L. Roediger III and Mark A. McDaniel, and was struck by this passage: “Elaboration is the process of giving new material meaning by expressing it in your own words and connecting it with what you already know. The more you can explain about the way your new learning relates to your prior knowledge, the stronger your grasp of the new learning will be, and the more connections you create that will help you remember it later.”
Once you began using Riffiti actively, you will find that the app is a stimulating place with several interesting things happening and it reveals itself in various ways to you.
For example, when you are on Riffiti, you will:
- Shift your emphasis to speaking, and saying. Force yourself to orally express your idea in your own words.
- See immediately that English language is NOT a necessary requirement for learning. You can have an entire Riffiti channel in your own native language.
- Riffiti will force you to ask the right, and precise, questions—and elaborate with equal brevity on such questions.
- Listen and see people who are not professional teachers talk about their perspectives.
- You will mix it up. In a single Riffiti session, lasting a few minutes, you can go from a mind-twisting topic such as, “What would Frodo Baggins do if he’s in the novel Charlotte’s Web?” to thinking about “What makes a good conversation?” and switching over to responding to the question, “You want to be an interior designer, but you’ve never been one. Say out loud ‘I am an interior designer.’”
We are just a few weeks away from releasing the alpha version. So, get ready to start riffing!